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The Hoop Doctors

NBA Free Agency 2012: Are the NY Knicks Title Contenders?

July 10, 2012 – Dan Favale

With the addition of Marcus Camby and the re-signings of Steve Novak and J.R. Smith, the New York Knicks’ roster is finally beginning to take shape. But is it talented enough to contend for a title?

Though the Knicks still must match Jeremy Lin’s offer sheet from the Houston Rockets, it’s safe to say they’ll do just that. And from there, handing out veteran minimum contracts to fill out the roster will be all that’s left to do.

But again, given what we know, is New York preparing to contend for a title?

That’s in fact, a question without an answer right now, because the Knicks truly don’t know what they have.

While it’s easy to count New York out of contention, we cannot neglect to acknowledge it still has a handful of stars in Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire. That said, it also has one of the most imbalanced dynamics in the NBA, rendering it impossible to proclaim its ready to keep pace with teams like the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Excessive payroll and depleted assets aside, the Knicks have had a stellar offseason thus far. Both Camby and Jason Kidd fill needs at important positions. Bringing back Lin, Novak and Smith was also essential to maintain a sense of fluidity as well.

But from there, it gets dicey.

At the point guard position, Lin remains vastly unproven. Linsanity was an incredible ride, but there’s no guarantee it continues, even with Kidd there to mentor New York’s budding floor general.

And then you have the absence of a true shooting guard. Iman Shumpert is likely out until at least January, Smith is best served as a volatile scorer in the second unit and Landry Fields is off counting his blessings in Toronto. From there you have a duo in Anthony and Stoudemire that has underperformed to say the least, a one-trick three-point pony in Novak playing for head coach averse to relying on the deep ball and a slew of athletes recovering from injury plagued seasons.

Exhausted yet?

The Knicks have plenty of talent on their roster, there’s no denying that, but it remains to be seen just how far it can carry them. Their window to win is now, but New York is suddenly a seasoned roster that may not be holding it open wide enough to climb through. Yet at the same time, they’ve got the potential to surprise a lot of people, perhaps becoming next year’s version of the San Antonio Spurs.

Which one will it be?

Unfortunately, as one of the most enigmatic assemblies in the league, we’re just going to have to wait and see if the Knicks’ blueprint for success actualizes itself or disproves everything they’ve stood for over the last two years.

Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.

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